Wednesday 21 May 2014

Well Done Sister Suffragette

Suffragettes, England, 1908
Suffragettes, Manchester, 1908 from WikiCommons
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day. 

I love being the mother of two beautiful strong willed little ladies. I love that they have been born into a nation and a time where they are more free than the brave bearers of our mitochondrial DNA might have thought possible. There is so much I want for them. I want them to know they are loved, every minute of every day. I want them to know that they are beautiful and precious and to grow up in a world where a newspaper contains news not boobs. I want them to know that knowledge is life-giving and smart women should be celebrated not feared. I want them to know that feminism comes in many forms and the vocation of women contains a kaleidoscopic range of possibilities for them. I want them to be free to believe they can make a difference, contribute to society, study for its own sake, follow their dreams. I want them to know that mothers are heroes; that they are worthy of respect and are equal partners in a marriage.That two becomes one does not mean two becomes him. That their Dad believes this too.

Britain Before the First World War Q81834
Emily Davison's Funeral from WikiCommons
And I want them to know how well fought and hard won was the battle for their freedom of faith, freedom in education and freedom to vote. One day they will learn about the Pankhursts, the Emily Davisons of this world. The women who were humbled and humiliated, starved to death and chained themselves to railings, died at the feet of the King's Horses, and those who peacefully held their placards at the roadside. The brave women who dreamed the impossible, the martyrs of female emancipation. But just for tomorrow, and filled with pride that at two and a half, whether she understands it or not, my daughter can sing the words "...well done, well done, well done sister Suffragette!" I shall march down to the polling station with her, show her what I am doing and tell her why. 

Much of life's wisdom can be found in musicals and none less than the indomitable Mary Poppins. Today we've been singing rousing choruses of this excellent of numbers. Ladies if you're wavering, please read it, read it again, and even if you are unimpressed with the spectrum of greasy-pole climbers on offer tomorrow, look for the best and join us as we push our pram to the polling station and place our vote out of respect for our sister Suffragettes and in anticipation of a better future for our daughters.

We're clearly soldiers in petticoats
And dauntless crusaders for women's votes
Though we adore men individually
We agree that as a group they're rather stupid
Cast off the shackles of yesterday
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray
Our daughters' daughters will adore us
And they'll sing in grateful chorus

Well done, Sister Suffragette

From Kensington to Billingsgate one hears the restless cries
From every corner of the land womankind arise
Political equality
And equal rights with men
Take heart, for Mrs. Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again

No more the meek and mild subservients we
We're fighting for our rights militantly
Never you fear!

So cast off the shackles of yesterday
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray
Our daughters' daughters will adore us
And they'll sing in grateful chorus
Well done
Well done
Well done, Sister Suffragette!

From "Mary Poppins"
Composed by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman


  1. Hurrah - exactly why Molly comes with me to the polling station and marks the X on my ballot paper and posts it in the ballot box - being a woman is amazing; let's celebrate it at every possible opportunity and praise the heroines that have gone before us that mean these freedoms are available to us.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...